Saturday, October 23, 2010



"A star's last gasp at the final stage of its life has been frozen for all time in a new photo by the Hubble Space Telescope.

In the photo, Hubble took a deep look at NGC 6210, a curious planetary nebula located about 6,500 light-years away, in the constellation of Hercules."

"At the heart of NGC 6210 is a star slightly less massive than our sun that is in the last fitful stage of its life cycle. The star's death spasms have kicked off multiple shells of material with different degrees of symmetry, giving the NGC 6210 nebula its odd, bulbous shape.

A star's life ends when it runs out of fuel for its thermonuclear engine. The estimated lifetime for a sun-like star is about 10 billion years.

When a star is about to die, it becomes unstable and ejects its outer layers to form a planetary nebula. What's left behind is a tiny, but very hot, star remnant known as a white dwarf.

The white dwarf inside NGC 6210, which is visible in the center of the Hubble image, will cool down and fade very slowly.

According to stellar evolution theory, our own sun will experience a similar fate in approximately 5 billion years."

I suppose the end really is nigh. Relatively speaking.


  1. AJ,

    1) If your so-called "journalists" ever learn the difference between evolutionary theory and cosmological theory, perhaps we can award them with a gold star for each.

    2) About 5 billion years from now, our sun's Red Giant phase will likely consume this planet. Several billion years after that, our sun will likely enter the White Dwarf phase.

  2. 1) Shoehorn fail

    2) I know

    It's an amazing picture though, isn't it? It's like looking into the past (I know you know what I mean) and the future simultaneously.

    Have family visiting, took the telescope out last night, was checking out Jupiter. Unbelievable. All four of the Galilean moons were visible, a couple of bands were visible on the planet. Just amazing.


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  4. AJ,

    “Shoehorn fail”? Not in the least.

    1) Using the word “evolution” to describe the cosmology of stars reveals a fundamental ignorance of both evolution and cosmology. Evolution describes the entirely random and unpredictable changes which living organisms undergo. Cosmology -- more precisely Physical Cosmology -- describes the entirely predictable changes which physical matter undergoes in strict accordance with the laws of physics as they exist in this particular universe (giving a nod here to multiverse theory).

    2) The shocking level of scientific illiteracy among so-called “journalists” is one of two major reasons why the public are so horrendously misinformed on matters of science -- climate change in particular. The second reason is rooted in overtly deliberate and purely political propagandizing on the part of those posing as so-called “journalists”. But, don’t take my word for it. Allow the Leftist publication Slate to expose them. Slate is the source cited in this damning post.

  5. So much for perspective.

    Take it up with And Merriam-Webster...

    Definition of EVOLUTION
    : one of a set of prescribed movements
    a : a process of change in a certain direction : unfolding b : the action or an instance of forming and giving something off : emission c (1) : a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state : growth (2) : a process of gradual and relatively peaceful social, political, and economic advance d : something evolved
    : the process of working out or developing
    a : the historical development of a biological group (as a race or species) : phylogeny b : a theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations; also : the process described by this theory
    : the extraction of a mathematical root
    : a process in which the whole universe is a progression of interrelated phenomena
    — evo·lu·tion·ari·ly\-shə-ˌner-ə-lē\ adverb
    — evo·lu·tion·ary\-shə-ˌner-ē\ adjective
    — evo·lu·tion·ism\-shə-ˌni-zəm\ noun
    — evo·lu·tion·ist\-sh(ə-)nist\ noun or adjective

    Ergo - shoehorn fail. That is to say, shoehorning your pathetically narrow view of things into any subject. I'm glad we had this little chat

  6. There are -- both inside and outside the realm of science -- many meanings and many usages for the word.

    However, the meanings and usages within the realm of science are considerably more narrow -- see my previous comment.

    Sorry -- you lose (as always).

  7. Poor Yankees, too bad, so sad.

    Go Texas Rangers!

  8. I never listen to science news from folks who never took a math or science class during college.
    Unfortunately, the big money behind the global warming/climate change hoax bought a large group of science 'professionals' that should've known better.

  9. Geez, I just liked the picture...

  10. Plus, I'm Mets Fan!

    which I suppose isn't really anything to shout about.